Carroll passed at home after a long illness with cancer, per The Hollywood Reporter.
She was featured prominently on the original Dynasty and its offshoot The Colbys in the 1980s, playing the deliciously wicked half-sister of John Forsythe’s Blake Carrington. The role allowed Carroll to fulfill a dream she voiced to People in 1984: “I want to be the first black bitch on television.”
Another signature part for the Tony-winning actress was the title role in Julia, a 1970s comedy about a widowed nurse raising her young son. The show ran three seasons on NBC and was groundbreaking in that its protagonist was a black character whose profession was not that of maid, butler or servant.
Carroll’s career spanned six decades and included TV appearances on A Different World, Lonesome Dove: The Series, Soul Food, Grey’s Anatomy and White Collar. She joined the Television Hall of Fame in 2011.
She wed four times (to manager Monte Kay, clothier Freddie Glusman, editor Robert DeLeon and singer Vic Damone), and she is survived by her daughter, Suzanne Kay, and grandchildren August and Sydney.